Alec has funded healthcare for 58 patients in 11 countries.
Hasani is a young boy from Tanzania. He is six years old and the firstborn child in a family of three children. Hasani has always been a hard-working boy according to his father. He would help graze the cattle and look after his siblings when his parents were out working on their small farm where they grow maize and vegetables for their living. Hasani was burnt severely after being involved in a home fire accident that left him with very severe burns on his face. He was rushed to the hospital and stayed there for one month having his burns taken care of. Once he was stable that cetner referred him to our partner hospital for further management and treatment. Through Watsi funding earlier this year, Hassani had a skin graft surgery that helped cover up the wound that was not healing on his face. He is now completely healed, but doctors are recommended that he have another surgery to help release a burn contracture around his left eye and place a skin graft. His parents are requesting support for the cost of treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hasani receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. The released skin will allow his eyes to close properly and reduce the chances of severe complications. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Hasani’s father says: “My son was able to have surgery which helped with the healing of his wound but he now needs another surgery which I can’t afford. Kindly help him.”
Agnes, a mother of eight children, arrived in our Watsi reps' office looking frail, drained, and in deep thought. She had given up getting medical attention and had requested her children to take her home before we intervened. She is mourning her husband who recently succumbed to cancer. Furthermore, doctors recently discovered she has a high-grade stromal tumor and requires surgery to remove the ovarian mass, which has been causing her severe discomfort. She shared her story with us: during the first week of May 2020, Agnes started feeling a sharp pain in the lower part of her stomach. She thought they were just normal pains and therefore got pain medication from a nearby chemist. Days later, her pains continued to increase, this time accompanied by bleeding. Alarmed she visited the nearest health centre where she was referred to Kijabe Hospital for further review. Several tests were conducted when she visited the facility and doctors discovered that she has symptomatic uterine fibroids. She underwent surgery but later doctors discovered that she has a mass in her ovaries that requires excursion. Despite having approval from the National Health Insurance program, the amount is not enough to cover the cost of surgery and she needs financial assistance. Agnes was widowed barely a month ago after her husband's long battle to cancer. The cost of taking care of her husband has depleted the limited family resources they had. Equally, she has also been sick and had several trips that made her close the little shop they were running from their home. She has no source of income after they closed down their shop. Her kids don’t yet have a stable source of income, and with what they do have, they have been instrumental in paying for her husband’s medical bills and cost of the funeral. Agnes shared, “I recently buried my husband as a result of cancer. I have been ailing and in a lot of pain. I had to close my small shop and therefore have no source of income. I am unable to afford this much-needed surgery and request for assistance.”
Susana is a 62-year-old farmer from Kenya. She is a talkative and happy grandmother who lives in along the Kerio Valley. Susana is a mother of four and is a subsistence farmer in the upcountry. She plants millet and sorghum in her small farm along the valley to meet her daily needs. She lives in a mud house with her husband. She shared that her four children did not finish school due to lack of money and are in the village doing casual jobs like working in hotels, while her two daughters are married. Susana was well until the Sunday, August 9th when she accidentally fell and injured her left hip. She is currently in pain and unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 13th, Susana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Susana shared, “I want to get back on my feet and resume my normal duties of farming and taking care of my husband."
Hann is a 53-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She lives in Kampot province with her husband and six children. Three of her children were recently married, and she has one grandson. When she is not working she spends her time cooking for the family and helping to take care of her grandchild. Three months ago, Hann had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her left ear to perforate. For this reason, Hann experiences constant ear pain and pus discharge, as well as hearing loss. She has difficulty communicating with others, and the pain keeps her from being able to focus on daily tasks. Hann traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 9th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Her husband shared, "I saw her get worse so quickly, she can no longer talk to us much. I hope that the doctor can help her ear get better soon."
Joyce is the oldest of three siblings and likes helping her mother do household chores at home. She also has a green thumb and enjoys helping her father on his farm. She is in seventh grade and her favorite subject is English. Joyce dreams of being a future doctor. In June of 2019, Joyce's family noticed an unusual curving of her spine. Currently, Joyce has trouble balancing while she walks and has experienced lower self-esteem. Surgery will correct the curve in her spine, improve her confidence, and enable her to continue her education and achieve her aspiration of becoming a doctor. Joyce's family has raised funds for half of the cost of her surgery with the help of friends and well-wishers. They are asking for Watsi's support to cover the remaining cost of their daughter's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining cost of her surgery and care. “My joy would be to get treated so that I can continue with my studies without needing to hide my back,” Joyce shared. Her parents also expressed, “We are pleading for support so that our daughter can undergo surgery and continue with her normal life like other children.”
Elliud is a 12-year-old student from Kenya and the second born child in a family of three. They live in a small village called Koisungur where most of the inhabitants work in farms or other small not very stable jobs. His parents are farmers in the village, they plant maize and beans in their small farm. Like many in this region, money has always been an obstacle for families like Elliud’s to seek proper medical care. Saturday evening, on May 9th, Elliud was playing with friends in their homestead when he experienced a very painful accident on his right leg. He is now in pain and he cannot walk on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 13th, Elliud will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,065 to fund this procedure. Elliud’s father says, “We wanted to return home because of lack of means but he was crying in pain. We were assisted by a well-wisher to the hospital. My hope is to see him walk again and not to be in pain.”
Saitabau is a 4-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the only child to his parents who depend on livestock keeping for their living and their income is very little to get them by. Saitabau has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Saitabau has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and irritability. Without treatment, Saitabau will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Saitabau that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 2nd and will drain the excess fluid from Saitabau's brain and replace the previous insertion that is blocked. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Saitabau will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Saitabau’s mother says, “My son had gotten better but now he is sick again please help him get another surgery.”
Poe is a five-year old boy who lives with his family in Shwe Koke Ko village of Karen State in Burma. In his free time, Poe likes to play with his friends and toys. He also likes to eat sweets. Poe does not go to school because of his condition. Poe's mother and father are divorced, and both are remarried. His father lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and he contributes to Poe’s financial wellbeing by giving the household 5000 baht (approx. $167 USD) per month. His mother does not provide the family with any extra income. Poe stays with his grandmother and great grandmother from his father's side. His grandmother works as a cleaner. The rest of the family does not currently have work. When Poe was eight months old, he got a severe fever and his family took him to the Wang Pha clinic near Mae Sot, Thailand, which is the same place where he was born. He was admitted at the clinic for three days, but his condition did not improve. Doctors at the clinic told his family to take him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. The family immediately took him to MSH and he was admitted for one week. At MSH, he received a blood test and was diagnosed with Thalassemia, a blood disorder. He received a blood transfusion and after the transfusion, Poe felt better, but only temporarily. His family went back for three follow-up appointments to MSH, where he had blood transfusions each time. When he was one year and five months old, the family could not afford going to MSH any longer, so they took Poe to Myawaddy Hospital. He received another blood transfusion and an IV line. He was admitted for three days at the hospital. Although he felt better after getting discharged in Myawaddy, since his condition is chronic, he needs regular blood transfusions to stay healthy. It became increasingly difficult for the family to pay for Poe’s care, however, they decided to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) for further help in 2016. Since then, he has received many blood transfusions at MTC, sometimes monthly and sometimes bi-monthly. With these treatments, he is able to survive. However, his condition also affects his spleen, the organ that filters blood. To prevent further problems, medics at MTC told his family that doctors need to remove Poe's spleen. Since it cannot be done at MTC, he needs to go back to MSH to undergo the operation. Currently, Poe has frequent bloody noses, coughs up blood, and has blood in his stool. He feels better after having a transfusion, but it wears off in the weeks following the procedure. When its nearing time for another transfusion, he feels weak and tired. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, Poe was adamant that he wanted to be a medic. “I want to help people,” he said. “When he sees people that are sick, he always tells me he feels sorry for them,” added his great grandmother.
Shatrice is a playful child whom her mother describes as exploring. She was born with hearing loss which was only noted when she was two years old. Efforts to seek treatment in their home area were fruitless. This was mainly because of financial limitation. Her mother was advised to bring her to Watsi's medical partner facility, about 500km from their village. Shatrice was diagnosed with profound hearing loss and requires hearing aids. With the fittings, she will develop her speech and her hearing will greatly improve. Shatrice’s mother is the only breadwinner in the family. She has to care for her two children and Shatrice’s grandmother who is struggling with esophageal cancer. From time to time, she has to take up cleaning jobs to meet demands at home. The family, however, relies on the church to meet their daily needs, including their transport and consultation fee. Shatrice’s mother desires to have her child grow up like any other child. She appeals for help.
Mebruka is a cute baby girl from Ethiopia who loves people and to play with others. She loves eating spaghetti. She has one older sister and she loves to play with her. Her mom is a house wife and her dad is a daily laborer. They live in a rented house and the dad’s income is very much limited for the expenses of the family. Mebruka was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mebruka is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on November 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Mebruka's procedure and care. After her recovery, Mebruka will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother said, “It is my hope that my baby will heal and that makes me happy even now.”
Mary Wambui, a widow, is a 79-year-old retired primary school teacher who depends on her pension to earn a living. She is suffering from hearing loss and requires bilateral hearing aids to improve her hearing. Her hearing challenges began two years ago when her hearing ability dwindled and she could no longer attend church or gatherings as she could barely hear. Mary lives on her own since her husband passed on six years ago. She has no children, thus has no one to depend on. Mary can barely afford the hearing aids with just her pension as she needs funding for the fitting to be completed as well. Mary gets an average of Kes. 5,000 per month but that can barely cater for her basic needs leave alone pay for the hearing aids she so badly needs. She appeals for financial assistance.
Kyi is a 58-year-old woman from Burma. She lives alone and used to sell clothing in her village. However, she stopped working since her symptoms worsened, over a year ago. She now has no income but is able to pay her daily expenses with money she has saved. Kyi was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Kyi feels tired when she walks and has a rapid heartbeat. She has also started to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 4th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Kyi said, “I felt very sad when I was told that the surgery will cost a lot because I do not have enough money to pay for my own heart surgery. I used up a lot of my money to go to a hospital which did not diagnose me. I felt less burdened when I met Pinlon Hospital’s staff and she told me that an organization [BCMF] will support my surgery’s cost.”